Hurricanes are on our minds today. It's another year that we are watching them come at us from Mexico on weather radar. To me, it looks like soccer balls are being kicked at us.
Living in Hawaii, surrounded by ocean, we feel like an easy target but as history has shown us, we see a lot of near misses but very few direct hits. We are pretty good at dodging those soccer balls. Even so, the near misses or even downgraded storms can make a mess. We are still cleaning up from Lane and we only saw rain bands on the Big Island.
Now we are watching Norman and Olivia coming toward us. Aren't we lucky we get plenty of time to prepare?
The civil defense tries every year to make sure we are prepared for hurricanes, both on a government level and on a personal level. Are you ready? Although (depending on who you ask), the Big Island has never experienced a hurricane making landfall, it's never a bad idea to go through the checklist.
- Talk with family members and develop a clear understanding what you will do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Prepare an action plan that includes details such as whether your family plans to shelter in place or evacuate. •
- Know if your home is in an inundation zone, flood zone, or susceptible to high winds and other hazards. Know if your home is retrofitted with hurricane resistant clips or straps. •
- Stay tuned to local media and their websites/applications regarding weather updates. •
- Sign up for local notification systems (i.e., HNL Info, Blackboard CTY). •
- Get to know your neighbors and community so you can help each other. •
- Download the “Ready Hawaii: app from the iTunes or Google Play! store. This app can aid in your emergency planning and will list shelters if they are opened for evacuation. •
- Walk your property and check for potential flood threats. Clear your gutters and other drainage systems. Remove and secure loose items. Keep your car gas tanks filled. •
- Prepare your pets by checking or purchasing a carrier and other preparedness items. A pet carrier is necessary for your pet’s safety if you plan to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter. Don’t forget 14 days of food and water for your furry family members. •
- Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster. •
- Secure your important documents in protective containers. •
- Visitors should download and read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.com.
- Build an emergency kit – now.
Be smart. Be safe. Help your neighbors.